Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Anonymizing Android Devices

Tor–a networking scheme that hides users’ online activities–is going mobile.
September 16, 2009

A good way for political dissidents (and anyone else) to hide their online activities is going mobile.

The Tor networking protocol hides users’ activities by relaying requests for information through a random selection of nodes (made up of other Tor users) until it’s near impossible to tell who originally made the request. Now Connell Gauld, an engineering student at Cambridge University in the UK has created a version of Tor for Android-powered mobile devices.

As this recent TR feature article explains, Tor can help those living under oppressive regimes find information and express their views without fear of persecution or retribution. But it can also help ordinary users protect their privacy.

It’ll be interesting to see how popular the mobile version of Tor is. After all, it’s possible to collect much more personal information via a phone–not just what you’re browsing but were you’re browsing from. Then again, plenty of people are happy to give up their anonymity in return for location-specific search results. And companies are keen to use this information to deliver targeted advertising and local recommendations.

Sandy Pentland, a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, has pioneered an approach that involves mining the aggregate information from many mobile devices–what he calls “reality mining”. His startup, Sense Networks, is exploring this, but it also anonymizes personal data to protect the privacy of individual users.

Recently, we covered a more controversial idea: building anonymity into the internet itself.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.